Our resident guitar man, Chris Cleaver, checks out three new stomp boxes from Lindo – Natural Overdrive, Soul Distortion and Divine Delay
here is nothing like a few effects pedals shining up from a guitar player’s feet to get the musical juices flowing and open up a whole world of new sounds and inventive playing. The range of pedals available today is truly mind-boggling, with toys to match any budget. They include the staples of compression, overdrive/distortion, chorus and delay all the way up to incredible envelope filters, loopers and the like. And that doesn’t even include all the multi-effects units out there.
Lindo Guitars, a Bristol-based outfit, offers up a range of three such essential effects pedals for the guitarist looking for great sounds at an affordable price. Included in the range are the Soul Distortion, Divine Delay and the Natural Overdrive. Each comes in a die-cast metal box with diamond cut aluminium knobs and all feature true-bypass circuitry. They can run off either a 9V battery (included) or separate PSU (sold separately).
“Rhythm playing at medium drive levels gives a lovely light crunch to chords”
The Natural Overdrive features all the familiar controls found on the most popular overdrive pedals, such as the Tubescreamer, with volume, drive and tone. It also has a useful high and low pass filter switch. With the drive set to zero, the tone in mid position and the switch set to LP, the pedal retains more of the original tone and can be used as just a volume booster. With the switch set to HP, it becomes a volume/treble booster, dialling in the level of treble boost using the tone knob. In front of a tube amp these are very useful features, enabling the player to drive the preamp that much harder to get the natural saturation from the valves. Increasing the levels of drive up from zero then brings in the more overdriven sounds right up to a full-on distortion at its maximum setting.
The Divine Delay is a digital delay pedal, designed to have the same bandwidth as a classic tape echo unit. It should also be familiar to regular delay pedal users. Delay time ranges from a very short slap-back to something a little over half a second, with the number of repeats set using the Repeat knob. The level of the delay sound is set with the Level control.
Finally comes the Soul Distortion, a full-blooded, edgy distortion pedal giving sounds ranging from overdrive to rich sustaining metal tones. It shares the same control configuration as the Natural Overdrive but without the LP/HP filter switch and with the drive set to zero is already well into those overdriven sounds.
Starting with the Natural Overdrive placed first in the signal chain, rhythm playing at medium drive levels gives a lovely light crunch to chords and muted strumming, and still gives enough grunt to break into solo with a natural musical responsiveness. Set like this, the degree of overdrive can be changed by just hitting the string harder. Higher drive levels yield full hard-driven valve amp-style overdriven tones – great for blues soloing. Knock on the high pass filter for more presence if needed.
The Soul Distortion takes you further into overdrive. With distortion, of course, there is no option to play clean notes and even gentle plucking gives a dirty sound. But if you want that driven Marshall stack sound, then this is the pedal. It can get a little noisy at higher drive levels.
With the Divine Delay pedal, a little restraint is required. Subtle and judicious use of the level and repeat controls can yield some very pleasant usable sounds especially for finger-picking and melodic play. Placed after the distortion pedal, a world of heavy riffing and sustained notes is opened up.
The Divine Delay contains no noise reduction circuitry – the intention being to keep the delay sound natural – but, as a result, having too much of the delay sound in the mix creates an effect that seemed very unnatural and a little sci-fi. Indeed the wet signal can be much louder than the direct with the delay level beyond half way. Put the repeat level too high and soon there will be a feedback modulation that can be fun to play with, but not very useful musically. Remember some of those Dr Who sound effects? There is also a noticeable change in the dry sound when the delay pedal is activated and the delay level is set to zero.
All three pedals offer very good value for money. However the Natural Overdrive is the pick of the crop, being versatile, expressive and giving great tones. Heavier players are still likely to prefer distortion and the Soul Distortion will give you as much of that as you can throw a stick at, although a noise reduction pedal might be required as well. The Divine Delay pedal is a digital pedal trying to emulate a tape echo with arguable success. That said, any half-decent analogue delay would cost twice as much. There’s still a lot of fun to be had with the Divine Delay, and if you don’t go too mad with the settings, sounds rich and airy.
Verdict: All three pedals offer very good value, but the Natural Overdrive is the pick of the crop
Chris Cleaver[cc_full_width_col background_color=”f1f1f1″ shadow_color=”cccccc” radius=”6″]
- Die-cast alloy metal casting
- Diamond cut aluminium knobs
- 1/4″ jack input and output connectors
- 25mA current draw
- 9V Battery power (included)
- 9V DC power option (not included)
- Dimensions: 115 x 65 x 38mm
- Weight: 350g